Test Your Astronomical Knowledge With This Week’s “WITU” Challenge

It’s Wednesday, so that means its time for another “Where In The Universe” (WITU) challenge to test your visual knowledge of the cosmos. This one might be relatively easy, but I’m feeling generous today. Guess what this image is, and give yourself extra points if you can guess which spacecraft is responsible for the image. As always, don’t peek below before you make your guess. Comments on how you did are welcome.

Ready? Go!

This is the Eskimo Nebula (NGC 2392), so named because it resembles a person’s head surrounded by a parka hood. But its also known as the Clownface Nebula. In 2000, the Hubble Space Telescope produced this image. NGC 2392 lies about 3000 light-years away and is visible with a small telescope, found in the constellation of Gemini.

The gas clouds in this nebula are unusual and complex, and aren’t fully understood. Its a planetary nebula, and the gas seen above composed the outer layers of a Sun-like star only 10,000 years ago. The inner filaments visible above are being ejected by strong wind of particles from the central star. The outer disk contains unusual light-year long orange filaments.

How’d you do?

19 Replies to “Test Your Astronomical Knowledge With This Week’s “WITU” Challenge”

  1. Yeah! The Eskimo nebula by Hubble! One of my favorite Hubble images. I’ll have to check this out in my 10″ dob some night and look for some possible structure. Keep up the great work Fraser and the rest of the contributers at Universe Today!

  2. Yeah – got one right for a change! =-)

    The best I’ve ever seen it (other than Hubble shots, of course) was at the MidAtlantic Star Party near Robbins, NC in 2005. We had one of those exceptional nights of perfect transparency AND perfect seeing.
    A guy camping near me had a 25″ Dob set up and he had the collimation dialed in and the scope tracking perfectly. We ran the power up to over 800X and it looked like someone had painted the nebula on the inside of the upper cage – it was outstanding!!! Too bad there was a line of Goombas (like me) standing at the bottom of the ladder waiting to get a peak, else I’d have stayed there all night.

  3. Oooh I know this image. It’s a planetary nebula, but I don’t recall which one… Cat’s Eye? I think not.

    Still, the photographer was Hubble.

    Let’s see now… Dang, it’s the Eskimo. Halfway there this time…

  4. Out on both counts 🙁

    Fantastic image, trust me this website keeps me sane. Imagine an ex-physicist on a trading floor in what I think of as a Dilbert space…. Nasty!

    Keep up the great work guys I read this site every day.

  5. Its strange to see the exotic shapes stars take as they die.
    I wish we would emit such a display of light to showcase to the universe that we were here, that we existed.

  6. Dang, i knew it was Hubble, but i could only think of the Cats Eye nebula…. dang…. a failure yet again….

  7. Got it! A bit easy, but it makes up for that friggin’ Voyager shot of Neptune’s rocky moon. LOL. Still only missed 5. Keep ’em coming!

  8. Dang – outsmarted myself this time. I thought it was an artist’s rendition of the Ant, imagined from another perspective.
    Words like “..it’s easy this time…” make me too suspicious.

    When oh when will I learn to trust?

  9. Had second thoughts on myself, but I was right the first time! I was almost guessing on another satellite because of the coloration..

  10. Guessed the Eskimo Nebula (NGC 2392) right but could not get the spacecraft name right . As there was a star in the centre of the gas cloud so, obviously it should be nebula only.

    Dear Fraser ,Keep up the great work.Thumbs up.

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